The Lakeville South High School class of 2009 is having its 10-year reunion this weekend in Minneapolis.

The class is the first one that spent all of its high school years at the building that was opened in 2005.

To commemorate this occasion, reunion organizer Bailey Boelter connected the newspaper with some of her former classmates from 2009.

Following are their responses to our questions. 

Chris McNeil

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Town of residence: Sacramento, California

Family: Single, youngest son of Jeff and Nanci McNeil. Older siblings are Ken, Mike, and Kerri.

Favorite song/book/TV show/podcast/or other distraction right now? Why?

Favorite podcast: “Science vs” because it is an informative and well-researched show discussing trendy and important scientific topics. My favorite current shows: “Good Omens” and “Fleabag.” The shows use side-splitting humor to discuss difficult issues like fate and relationships. Favorite song(s): The soundtrack to “Come From Away.” It reflects how people came together to show love and support for each other in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Tell us about what you have been doing the past 10 years in 150 words or fewer:

After graduating from LSHS, I went to Brigham Young University where I started a B.S. in food science. Starting in 2010, I spent two years in Chile doing humanitarian work and teaching English. I then returned to BYU to continue to study food science. As an undergraduate, I worked in a lab studying the stability of vitamins in food products such as milk, corn meal, onions, and peanut butter. I also spent four months living in Malawi teaching food preservation, sustainable agriculture, and nutrition. After completing my B.S., I began a Ph.D. program in food science with an emphasis in food biochemistry at the University of California, Davis. My current research consists of understanding the chemical properties of citrus fruits and beer as well was the impact that pathogens have on the metabolism of important agricultural crops. I will complete my Ph.D. next summer.

What is the most fulfilling thing of your current work or educational pursuit?

I have had the opportunity to travel around the world to teach people about the importance of eating healthy, sustainable foods. I am extremely grateful to do work that focuses on improving the lives of people around the world.

How do you think Lakeville South prepared you for what you are experiencing now?

The teachers at LSHS instilled me with a love of science and encouraged me to pursue my passions. They also gave me the confidence to speak my mind and seek new opportunities.

What advice would you give to the graduating class of 2019? 

Find your passions and put all of your heart and soul into pursuing them.

If you were to go back to Lakeville South for one day and one classroom hour, what class would it be and who are the classmates you’d want to have in that class? Why?

I would want to go back to concert band. Concert band led to some incredible opportunities with the friends I made such as Natalie Herrild, Emily Schwegman, and so many others. We went to London, Germany, Austria, and Italy together with the LSHS band and had the most fun and memorable experiences during all of my time in high school.

 

Morgan (Berg) Walworth

Town of residence: Boston, Massachusetts

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Family: I am married to my husband, Ben, and we have a 3-year-old labradoodle named Bogey who is our whole world! My parents are John and Lisa Berg and still reside in Lakeville, and my triplet sisters, Lauren and Paige, also graduated in 2009. Lauren lives in Arizona and Paige lives in Deephaven. The triplets are in three different time zones, but we’re still closer than ever. They are my best friends!

Favorite song/book/TV show/podcast/or other distraction right now?

My favorite distraction is going for a run because it is my favorite way to clear my mind, be outside, and stay active; there are so many beautiful trails in Massachusetts, but I sure do miss the Minnesota lakes! I love baking, crafting, hiking and being outside with my husband and dog Bogey. l enjoy the Almost30 podcast because it covers topics that I love: health, wellness, and spirituality – not to mention, it is very applicable because I’m almost 30! Yikes!

Tell us about what you have been doing the past 10 years in 150 words or fewer.

I took a leap of faith and moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 2010 to finish my nursing degree and ultimately graduated from UMass Boston as class president. In that time, I became Miss Boston 2013 and spent the year doing volunteer work. After graduating, I became a Certified Pediatric Nurse and got a job at Boston Children’s Hospital. I thank my lucky stars that I met my sweet husband, Ben, in 2014, and we got married in Kennebunkport, Maine, in June 2017. I’ve taken up a love for running, and completed my first half marathon last year. As we hope to grow our family, we just bought our first home together in Massachusetts, and our life revolves around our “child” labradoodle, Bogey. We make it back to Minnesota a few times a year to visit family (and so I can try to convince my husband to move there, haha!). Life is so, so good!

What is the most fulfilling thing of your current work or educational pursuit?

I truly love caring for people and trying to make a positive impact on what is a very vulnerable time for my patients. I always knew I was meant to be a nurse, and I can still say I can’t ever picture myself doing anything else!

How do you think Lakeville South prepared you for what you are experiencing now?

Lakeville South built a wonderful foundation for my adulthood, but now being 10 years removed, it is safe to say that high school is truly just the beginning! When you’re in it, high school feels like the end all, be all. But after watching my life evolve over the last 10 years, I believe life only gets more beautiful and exciting as it goes on.

What advice would you give to the graduating class of 2019? 

Spread your wings! Do something you are afraid to do. I never thought I’d leave Minnesota, but after being in Boston for nine years, I can’t imagine my life if I hadn’t spread my wings and taken a leap of faith! Everything truly happens for a reason.

If you were to go back to Lakeville South for one day and one classroom hour, what class would it be and who are the classmates you’d want to have in that class? Why?

I would go back to the dance studio at LSHS because some of my best memories are from being on the Cougar Dance Team with my teammates and coaches! I miss dancing and all the joy it brought me, so I would want to be there with my sister Paige, my fellow dance captains Cassie and Abbie there, and of course our angel Kaitlin Beske. We spent so many wonderful hours together in that studio! But it is a close tie between Mr. Sommers’ science class, Ms. McCabe and Ms. Grawe’s Spanish class, and Mr. Bergan’s history class – those teachers stick out distinctly in my mind from high school!

 

Nicholas Bloom

Town of residence: Los Angeles, California

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Family: Got married in July 2017 to my husband, Brian Bloom. We’ve been together five years. This past November (2018), we welcomed our daughter Olivia Moore Bloom in to the world. I have one younger brother (Jon Gerken a.k.a. Jack Gerken) who graduated at Lakeville South as well, class of 2014.

Favorite song/book/TV show/podcast/or other distraction right now? Current favorite song: “Juice” by Lizzo because it’s about embracing who you are and living your best life.

Favorite TV Show: “This is Us” because it keeps life real, that show is an emotional roller coaster. You can always count on it for a good cry.

Podcast: The NPR Politics Podcast because it gives me factual depth to the “now” versus biased “jargony” headlines.

Other distraction: Jumping on my Peloton Bike for a good ass kicking, I can always count on Cody Rigsby for a much needed sweat. As a new dad, the Peloton is the best way to stay on top of your fitness – baby takes a nap, I get to spin.

Tell us about what you have been doing the past 10 years in 150 words or fewer.

Shortly after graduating, made the move from Minnesota to Denver, to study international business at Johnson & Wales University. After undergrad, I started my career at Denver Health. After five years in Denver, a new job brought me to Chicago for a brief stint at the University of Chicago Medicine. Shortly after I moved to Chicago, I realized I was in love and that it was time for me to pack my bags and move west to Southern California. Los Angeles has been home for almost five years now. I’ve spent the last four years working for Cedars-Sinai Health System, now overseeing the organization’s outbound philanthropy. During my time at Cedars, I also started and finished my masters in public health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Most recently, our journey to parenthood inspired my husband and I to launch FMLY Inc., helping others navigate their journey to parenthood.

What is the most fulfilling thing of your current work or educational pursuit?

I have one of the best jobs in the world! I get to wake up every day, put on my public health hat on, and identify areas of need across Los Angeles that could benefit from philanthropic funding. Often times, this takes the shape of funding the healthcare safety-net of Los Angeles by addressing access to care barriers and social determinants of health.

How do you think Lakeville South prepared you for what you are experiencing now?

Lakeville South gave me the opportunity see beyond the community I was growing up in. I was one of the founding members of Lakeville South’s DECA Chapter. I quickly realized that I had a passion for people and influencing change. At the end of my junior year, with thanks to my Lakeville South crew, I was elected as a vice president for the Minnesota DECA Leadership Team. This gave me the opportunity to travel the state, speaking with other DECA chapters, bringing people together to improve the organization. In my senior year at LSHS, I had an overwhelming amount of support from my classmates and teachers to run for national office. So I did and was elected national vice president of DECA for the Central Region of the United States. All of these incredible opportunities really opened my eyes to how incredibly diverse our lives are from each other.

What advice would you give to the graduating class of 2019?

Explore the world, be open to opportunities, and don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. Be you.

If you were to go back to Lakeville South for one day and one classroom hour, what class would it be and who are the classmates you’d want to have in that class? Why?

If I were to go back to Lakeville South for one day, I would want that day to be the day right before the BIG homecoming game. I loved this day and would look forward to it every year. It was a day that brought so many people together - in dress, in spirit, and in fun!  This was a day in high school that I now assimilate to PRIDE, you have the opportunity to express yourself and be proud of who you are collectively.

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